Gertrude Stein’s Coffee


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Gertrude Stein’s Coffee – In a continuing series of an ongoing relationship with the ordinary and everyday, I have reached out to others for them to share with me the things that form their everyday. These are the things that they might reach for in different times of the day yet do so automatically, without much thought. For example, ‘Maldon Sea Salt’ goes on pretty much everything I eat which, when given further analysis, acts in some way as my maintained and physical connection to Europe – the salt from the sea is an essential part of my physicality.

‘Gertrude Stein’s Coffee‘ – I’m purposefully not sharing the identities of those that shared their sometimes very personal stories with me. Stein said “Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup”.

The woman that shared her story with me said “as a child, I recall my parents drinking strong black coffee that dad made in a small copper Turkish vessel. A far cry from my mother’s upbringing in rural NSW, the family impoverished after her father died aged 50 from septicaemia after having his appendix removed.

“My parents did not ever own an espresso machine as such machines for domestic use came much later. Good coffee, however, – never instant! – was a daily ritual. In my days at university my friends and I would occasionally treat ourselves to a cappuccino at Brunetti in Carlton.

“Over the years the daily espresso coffee tradition continued, though its manifestation varied according to availability.

“Then, one magical day about 15 years ago, I realized one could purchase a domestic espresso maker – and here it is. I have always used the manual function as I rather fancy myself as a barista.

“The familial and historical influence has been strong; school holidays with extended family relatives and various trips to Italy including the family island of Salina near Sicily. The daily ritual involved sourcing good coffee beans, grinding them perfectly, loading the group handle to correct level, ensuring the pour is perfect (3 colours in the glass), frothing the milk, and caring for the machine

“I would still do this if I lived alone, but it pleases me no end to make a coffee for my husband, and for visitors. During lockdown, the daily coffee ritual has been more important than ever, punctuating our days which have a certain sameness.”

Size: 24×24 inch / 61×61 cm

Ready to hang

Out of stock